June 2003 Nutrient Management Protocol for Ontario Regulation 267/03 Made under the Nutrient Management Act, 2002

Part 10 – Outdoor Livestock Feeding Operations

Table of Contents

  1. Storage
  2. Snow That Contains Manure

Outdoor Livestock Confinement Areas include the following animals:

  • livestock;
  • deer;
  • elk; or
  • game animals

10.1 Classification of Outdoor Livestock Feeding Operations

Outdoor feeding operations covered by the Regulation are classified as either high density permanent or low density permanent. The classification is based on a simple body count defined in the Regulation. The breakdown is as follows:

Permanent

High density: areas to which animals have access for 4800 hours (or 200 complete days) of the year or more and which is sufficient to generate 120 or more Nutrient Units per hectare annually(NU/ha); or

areas to which the animals have access for less than 4800 hours of the year and the area is part of a farm unit that contains the number of farm animals that is sufficient to generate,

  1. 300 or more nutrient units annually, and
  2. more than five nutrient units per hectare calculated on an annualized basis ;

Low density: areas to which animals have access for 4800 hours (or 200 complete days) of the year or more and where the number of animals confined is the area, at any time, is not sufficient to generate nutrients at a rate of more than 120 Nutrient Units per hectare (NU/ha).

Access to the confinement area is assumed in any case where the animals are not excluded by the use of closed gates or similar barricades. If a farmer wishes animals to only have access to the confinement area for portions of days, the exclusion mechanism (eg gate or door) must be in place for the balance of the hours in question to achieve a condition of 'no access' for the purpose of these definitions.

10.1.1 Operations 300 Nutrient Units or Greater: Nutrient Units Calculated on an Annualized Basis

Where animals are confined for a period of less than 4800 hours and there are sufficient animals to generate 300 nutrient units or greater annually, it is necessary to determine the production of the animals on an annualized basis.

The method for determining this number in accordance with the definition found in Part 1 of the Regulation is as follows:

The total nutrient units per hectare are calculated using the appropriate NU values for the animals from Table 3.2.1 in Part 3 of this protocol. This value is then adjusted to adequately reflect how long the livestock was actually on those hectares.

Example of Low Density

Three hundred beef cows are wintered on a field of 30 hectares for 120 full days or 2880 hours. From the NU table it is determined that 1 beef cow equals 1 NU.

300 beef cows = 300 NU

so: 300 NU is on 30 ha which = 10 NU/ha

120 days is approximately 1/3 or (33%) of a year, therefore, the NU loading for this field over the course of this year (provided that there is no other period of the year that livestock is present) is:

10 NU/ha x .33 = 3.3 NU/ha/yr

3.3 NU/ha/yr is less than 5 NU/ha/yr so this is a low-density seasonal not a permanent feeding operation and therefore is not currently covered by the regulation.

Example of High Density

Three hundred beef cows are wintered on a field of 10 hectares for 180 full days or 4320 hours. From the NU table it is determined that one beef cow equals 1 NU.

300 beef cows/1 beef cow per NU = 300 NU

so: 300 NU is on 10 hectares which = 30 NU/ha

180 days is approximately 49% of a year, therefore, the NU loading for this field over the course of this year (provided that there is no other period of the year that livestock is present) is:

30 NU/ha x .49 = 14.8 NU/ha/yr

14.8 NU/ha/yr is more than 5 NU/ha/yr so this operation must be treated as a high-density permanent outdoor confinement area according to the definition provided in Part 1 of the regulation.

10.1.2 Calculation of Permanent: Nutrient Units per Hectare: Animals sufficient to generate nutrient units annually

The concept of whether animals are of a sufficient number to generate a certain number of nutrient units annually can be calculated using the following method:

The total nutrient units per hectare are calculated using the appropriate NU values for the animals from the tables in Part 3 of this protocol. This value provides a "snap shot" of what a given number of animals will be able to produce annually.

Example of Low Density

100 beef cows are kept on 1 hectare for 250 full days or 6000 hours. From the NU table it is determined that 1 beef cow equals 1 NU so there are 100 NU per ha. 100 NU/ha is less than 120 NU per ha so this is a low-density permanent outdoor feeding area.

Example of High Density

450 beef feeders are kept on 1 ha for 250 days. From the NU table it is determined that 3 beef feeders equal 1 NU so there are 150 NU per ha. 150 NU per ha is more than 120 NU per ha so this is a high-density permanent outdoor feeding area.

10.2 Storage

The floor of an outdoor livestock confinement area is considered to be a manure storage. This is reflected in the siting requirements for the different outdoor livestock confinement area classes, such as the requirements for specified soil type and depth. Further, no additional storage should be needed provided that manure is land applied directly from the outdoor livestock confinement area according to a nutrient management plan.

If manure is removed from that floor before being land applied (according to a nutrient management plan) then the storage where it is kept must also meet the requirements for construction and siting of storage facilities.

Spatial Separation

For permanent outdoor livestock confinement areas, the provisions for separation are set out in Part 7 of the Regulation.

10.3 Snow That Contains Manure

Part 7 of the Regulation allows a person to store or use snow which has been removed from an outdoor livestock confinement area and that contains manure subject to certain conditions.

Context – Snow that contains manure, removed from an outdoor livestock confinement area, is known in the industry as "feedlot snow", "winter yard scrapings" or "brown sugar". This material is of extreme bulk relative to nutrient content, and is known to cause handling and storage difficulties on many operations where outdoor livestock housing is used.

10.3.1 Parameters for Snow Containing Manure from OLCAs

For the purposes of Part 7 of the Regulation the snow containing manure is characterized by:

  1. having originated from an outdoor livestock confinement area;
  2. the presence of ice or snow crystals;
  3. the presence no other foreign materials except livestock urine, feces, feed or bedding;
  4. a dry matter content of no greater than 16%
  5. a nutrient content of no greater than 0.82% total nitrogen on a dry weight basis and no greater than 0.26% total phosphorus on a dry weight basis; and
  6. the material appears solid despite its low dry matter content such that this material cannot be pumped at time of handling or application, rather it can be piled or handled as a solid.

The preferred method for determining the nutrient content described above is through using pooled samples (10 litres each) which are subjected to analysis in triplicate.

10.3.2 Bedding and Feed in Snow

Snow that contains manure is permitted to contain some bedding and feed. This is in recognition of the fact that sometimes feed and bedding will become mixed in with the snow after a storm event and may be removed when the snow is removed. Not all scrapings from an outdoor livestock confinement area will be able to meet the parameters described above. Any winter application of manure that does not meet the above guidelines must be in compliance with the regulations for winter spreading contained in Part 6 of the Regulation.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 30 June 2003
Last Reviewed: 30 June 2003